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Game Data:Florida A&M at Ohio State

Florida A&M at Ohio State

* Date, Time: Sat., Sept. 21, noon (Eastern time)

* Location: Ohio Stadium

* TV: Big Ten Network (announcers, Matt Devlin, Glen Mason and Lisa Byington)

* Special Occasion: OSU’s 1973 Big Ten championship team will be recognized. This will also be the Military Appreciation Game. Student veteran and Ohio National Guard members will be recognized.

* 2013 Records: Ohio State, 3-0 overall; Florida A&M, 1-2 overall.

* 2013 Rankings: Ohio State, fourth in Associated Press poll and third in USA Today coaches poll; Florida A&M, unranked.

* Coaches: Ohio State, Urban Meyer (second year at OSU, 15-0; 12th year overall, 119-23; vs. Florida A&M, first meeting); Florida A&M, Earl Holmes (first year at FAMU, 1-2; vs. OSU, first meeting).

* Series History: This is Ohio State’s first-ever meeting with Florida A&M.

* Florida A&M Schedule: Sept. 1, Mississippi Valley State, W 27-10; Sept. 7, Tennessee State, L 27-7; Sept. 14, Samford, L 27-20; Sept. 21, at Ohio State, noon (BTN); Oct. 5, at Morgan State; Oct. 12, at Savannah State; Oct. 19, Howard; Oct. 26, North Carolina A&T; Nov. 2, at Norfolk State; Nov. 9, at South Carolina State; Nov. 16, Delaware State; Nov. 23, vs. Bethune-Cookman.

* Florida A&M Key Players (2013 Stats): QB Damien Fleming (31 of 64 passing, 383 yards, 2 TDs, 5 INTs), RB Omari Albert (22 carries, 85 yards, 1 TD), RB James Owens (23 carries, 66 yards), WR Lenworth Lennon (14 catches, 229 yards, 1 TD), WR Dewayne Harvey (7 catches, 77 yards), WLB Michael Ducre (29 tackles, 3-1/2 TFLs, 1-1/2 sacks), FS John Ojo (22 tackles), SS Jonathan Pillow (15 tackles), CB Patrick Aiken (2 INTs).

* Florida A&M Fast Facts: Location: Tallahassee, Fla.; Enrollment, 13,089; Conference: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference; Nickname, Rattlers; Colors, Orange and Green; Stadium, Bragg Memorial Stadium (surface, grass; capacity, 25,000).

* Ohio State Schedule: Aug. 31, Buffalo, W 40-20; Sept. 7, San Diego State, W 42-7; Sept. 14, at California, W 52-34; Sept. 21, Florida A&M, noon (BTN); Sept. 28, Wisconsin, 8 p.m. (ABC); Oct. 5, at Northwestern, 8 p.m. (ABC, ESPN or ESPN2); Oct. 19, Iowa, 3:30 p.m. (ABC, ESPN or ESPN2); Oct. 26, Penn State, 8 p.m. (ABC, ESPN or ESPN2); Nov. 2, at Purdue; Nov. 16, at Illinois; Nov. 23, Indiana; Nov. 30, at Michigan.

* Ohio State Key Players (2013 Stats): QB Braxton Miller (17 of 24 passing, 208 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; 18 carries, 82 yards), QB Kenny Guiton (41 of 61 passing, 449 yards, 7 TDs, 1 INT; 24 carries, 181 yards, 1 TD), RB Jordan Hall (64 carries, 402 yards, 6 TDs), WR Philly Brown (13 catches, 133 yards, 3 TDs), WR Devin Smith (13 catches, 256 yards, 3 TDs), WR Chris Fields (6 catches, 67 yards, 3 TDs), DE Noah Spence (15 tackles, 4-1/2 TFLs, 2-1/2 sacks), OLB Ryan Shazier (24 tackles, 3 TFLs, 1 sack), DB Christian Bryant (18 tackles, 1 INT), MLB Curtis Grant (14 tackles).

Depth Charts

Ohio State Offense

LT 74 Jack Mewhort, 6-6, 308, Sr.
76 Darryl Baldwin, 6-6, 310, Jr.
LG 78 Andrew Norwell, 6-6, 316, Sr.
65 Pat Elflein, 6-3, 295, R-Fr.
C 71 Corey Linsley, 6-3, 297, Sr.
50 Jacoby Boren, 6-2, 290, So.
RG 79 Marcus Hall, 6-5, 315, Sr.
65 Pat Elflein, 6-3, 295, R-Fr.
RT 68 Taylor Decker, 6-7, 315, So.
66 Kyle Dodson, 6-6, 310, R-Fr.
or 55 Tommy Brown, 6-4, 308, So.
TE 86 Jeff Heuerman, 6-6, 252, Jr.
81 Nick Vannett, 6-6, 255, So.
WR (X) 10 Corey “Philly” Brown, 6-0, 190, Sr.
or 9 Devin Smith, 6-1, 198, Jr.
83 Michael Thomas, 6-3, 202, So.
QB 5 Braxton Miller, 6-2, 215, Jr.
13 Kenny Guiton, 6-3, 208, Sr.
RB 2 Jordan Hall, 5-9, 191, Sr.
7 Rod Smith, 6-3, 232, Jr.
28 Warren Ball, 6-1, 222, R-Fr.
or 25 Bri’onte Dunn, 6-0, 220, So.
34 Carlos Hyde, 6-0, 235, Sr.
H-B 80 Chris Fields, 6-1, 200, Sr.
1 Dontre Wilson, 5-10, 180, Fr.
17 Jalin Marshall, 5-11, 199, Fr.
WR (Z) 6 Evan Spencer, 6-2, 206, Jr.
82 James Clark, 5-9, 185, Fr.
84 Corey Smith, 6-1, 191, Jr.
K 24 Drew Basil, 6-2, 212, Sr.
39 Kyle Clinton, 6-1, 220, Jr.

Ohio State Defense

DE 97 Joey Bosa, 6-6, 275, Fr.
or 92 Adolphus Washington, 6-4, 295, So.
NG 51 Joel Hale, 6-4, 310, Jr.
72 Chris Carter, 6-4, 340, So.
or 57 Chase Farris, 6-4, 308, So.
DT 63 Michael Bennett, 6-3, 285, Jr.
77 Michael Hill, 6-2, 305, Fr.
VIPER 8 Noah Spence, 6-3, 252, So.
34 Jamal Marcus, 6-2, 240, So.
or 88 Steve Miller, 6-3, 255, Jr.
OLB 10 Ryan Shazier, 6-2, 230, Jr.
36 Trey Johnson, 6-1, 220, Fr.
MLB 14 Curtis Grant, 6-3, 243, Jr.
48 Joe Burger, 6-2, 235, So.
or 44 Mike Mitchell, 6-3, 222, Fr.
SLB 37 Joshua Perry, 6-4, 246, So.
55 Camren Williams, 6-1, 231, So.
CB 1 Bradley Roby, 5-11, 192, Jr.
26 Armani Reeves, 5-10, 198, So.
FS 2 Christian Bryant, 5-10, 193, Sr.
20 Ron Tanner, 6-0, 200, So.
SS 4 C.J. Barnett, 6-1, 204, Sr.
3 Corey “Pittsburgh” Brown, 6-1, 203, Sr.
CB 12 Doran Grant, 5-11, 191, Jr.
19 Gareon Conley, 6-2, 185, Fr.
NB 23 Tyvis Powell, 6-3, 207, Fr.
11 Vonn Bell, 5-11, 190, Fr.
P 95 Cameron Johnston, 5-11, 190, Fr.
24 Drew Basil, 6-2, 212, Sr.
LS 41 Bryce Haynes 6-4, 220, So.
or 56 George Makridis 6-2, 234, Sr.

Florida A&M Offense

QB 7 Damien Fleming, 6-3, 205, Jr.
14 Carson Royal, 6-2, 215, R-Fr.
TB 21 James Owens, 5-9, 180, Sr.
24 Lemond Buice, 6-1, 225, Jr.
FB 43 Lonnie Lockett, 6-0, 215, Sr.
WR 81 DeWayne Harvey, 6-1, 205, Jr.
9 Casey Glines, 6-6, 210, Jr.
TE 88 Michael Ethridge, 6-2, 230, Sr.
82 Michael Morris, 6-4, 235, So.
LT 75 Zerrie Patterson, 6-2, 340, So.
77 Timothy Jones, 6-6, 290, Fr.
LG 62 Keonte Cash, 5-11, 310, Fr.
55 Douglass Almendares, 6-3, 310, Sr.
C 58 Kevin House, 6-3, 300, Sr.
55 Douglass Almendares, 6-3, 310, Sr.
RG 63 Reginald Turner, 6-4, 300, R-Fr.
70 Ryan Templeton, 6-3, 317, Jr.
RT 55 Douglass Almendares, 6-3, 310, Sr.
75 Zerrie Patterson, 6-2, 340, So.
WR 27 Lenworth Lennon, 5-9, 168, Jr.
86 Montavius Williams, 6-0, 160, R-Fr.
89 Dennis Hall, 5-10, 170, Jr.
K 33 Chase Varnadore, 5-11, 170, Jr.

Florida A&M Defense

LDE 97 James Broaddus, 6-5, 245, So.
76 Donavan Mann, 6-4, 240, Fr.
NG 92 Michael Lovejoy, 6-4, 265, So.
95 Samuel Richardson, 5-11, 330, Sr.
RDE 90 Frances Mayes, 6-10, 295, Sr.
98 Matthew Caleb Helms, 6-4, 255, So.
SAM 46 Bobby Jackson, 6-1, 218, Sr.
54 Curtis Alexander, 6-0, 208, Fr.
MLB 57 William Smalls, 6-2, 205, Jr.
52 William Luke Helms, 6-2, 225, Fr.
Rattler 47 Akil Blount, 6-3, 225, So.
8 Brandon Denmark, 6-4, 240, Sr.
WLB 51 Michael Ducre, 6-2, 230, Sr.
56 Kashawn Butler, 6-1, 220, Jr.
RCB 5 Patrick Aiken, 5-10, 170, So.
14 Darren Parker, 6-0, 170, Fr.
LCB 4 Devontae Terry Johnson, 6-0, 183, So.
15 Marshane Godbolt, 5-10, 165, So.
SS 3 Devan Roberts, 6-1, 200, Sr.
19 Jonathan Pillow, 6-0, 202, Sr.
FS 25 John Ojo, 6-3, 212, Gr.
31 Neal Cunningham, 6-1, 205, R-Fr.
P 36 Colby Blanton, 6-1, 210, R-Fr.
LS 39 Tyler Riley, 5-11, 215, So.

Also Notable

* Meyer has a record of 45-4 in games in August and September as a college coach.

* OSU has won 66 straight regular season nonconference home games against unranked teams. That string dates to a 1982 loss to Florida State.

The Buckeyes have won 10 straight home games, dating to a 2011 loss to Penn State.

* Ohio State’s 15-game winning streak is the nation’s longest current active streak and is the fifth-longest in school history. The OSU record is 22 straight between 1967-69. After that, OSU had streaks of 19 straight wins in 2005-06, 19 straight in 2002-03 and 17 straight in 1915-17.

This is the 15th winning streak of 10 or more games in OSU history.

Meyer’s personal longest winning streak is 22 straight in the 2008-09 seasons at Florida. Counting a 2010 bowl win at Florida, he has won his last 16 games as a college head coach.

* OSU’s Braxton Miller is 13 rushing yards from passing Cornelius Greene (2,080 yards) as the school’s all-time leading rusher at the quarterback position.

* Ohio State has opened a season with three consecutive 40-plus point games for the first time since 1969. The only time OSU has opened a year with four such games was in 1917.

If OSU reaches the 40-point plateau Saturday, it would be the first time since the Buckeyes have done it for four games in a row since midway through the 2005 season.

* This is OSU’s third all-time game against teams from the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA). The Buckeyes routed Youngstown State in 2007 (38-6) and 2008 (43-0).

* A win for FAMU would give the Rattlers their second ever win against an FBS team. The Rattlers defeated Miami (Fla.) 16-13 during the 1979 season. FAMU is 1-21 all-time against FBS teams.

* FAMU’s first national championship coach, William “Big Bill” Bell (1936-42), was a graduate of Ohio State University, as was a future Rattler coach, Rudy Hubbard (1974-85), a stalwart running back and assistant coach for Buckeye coaching legend Woody Hayes.

* Although most of his NFL career was spent as a Steeler in Pittsburgh (1996-2001), FAMU head coach Earl Holmes spent his final four seasons in the Midwest, one season (2002) in Cleveland with the Browns under coach Butch Davis. He finished his career with three seasons (2003-05) as a Detroit Lion.

Holmes will renew acquaintances with former Steeler teammate and Ohio State grad, Mike Vrabel, who played with Pittsburgh from 1997 to 2000. Vrabel, who played 14 seasons in the NFL, including eight seasons (2001-08) with New England, is the defensive line coach for Ohio State.

Breaking It Down

* When Ohio State Has The Ball: I am writing this before we meet with OSU coach Urban Meyer later today. We will find out how much Braxton Miller has been able to do in practice Tuesday and Wednesday and could get an indication how much he may be able to play.

Yes, Kenny Guiton – coming off a game with 368 yards total offense against California – deserves to start. But if Miller is deemed healthy, he definitely needs to play and get sharp for next week’s Big Ten opener against Wisconsin. And the best place for him to play is at the beginning of the game – be it for a quarter or a half – while everyone around him is fresh (i.e. they can keep him out of harm’s way). The New York Jets example with Mark Sanchez shows why you don’t put the starter in with backups.

So my feeling is Miller will play early, get his work in and get out of there. He and Guiton could each throw for 150 yards or more. The Florida A&M defense has allowed an average of 22 points per game against three FCS opponents. OSU is averaging 43 points per game against three FBS opponents.

As for the running back position, my guess is that Jordan Hall starts. But Carlos Hyde will be in there quickly. He has to shake the rust off and get ready for his role as the bell cow against Wisconsin next week. That will be a rugged game and they will need Hyde to make 20 to 25 carries in that game.

This is also a game where freshman Dontre Wilson, who has been itching to break a big one, could get off in a big way.

I do not want to diminish the opponent, but given what we’ve seen from OSU’s offense this should be a complete mismatch. OSU is averaging 504.3 yards per game. We could see another 600-yard game.

* When Florida A&M Has The Ball: The Ohio State defense is tied for 12th nationally in rushing defense (89.7 yards per game), so I don’t see the Rattlers establishing the run.

And Florida A&M QB Damien Fleming has only thrown for 388 yards in three games – with five interceptions to boot – against three FCS opponents. I can’t see the Rattlers establishing the pass, either.

The OSU defense gave up some yards and plays to Cal, but that was against a Golden Bears offense that projects as one of the best in the Pac-12 this year. I see this being a lot like the San Diego State game where at least half of the FAMU possessions go three-and-out.

This is a great game for the young guys on defense – DT Michael Hill, DE Joey Bosa, DE Noah Spence, LB Curtis Grant, LB Josh Perry, nickel back Tyvis Powell, safety Vonn Bell, CB Armani Reeves, CB Cam Burrows or whoever else – to put some polish on their game before Big Ten play starts.

* How It Will Go: Florida A&M, for all of its history, is not in the top 50 this week in the FCS rankings. Heck, none of the three teams they’ve played are in this week’s top 25. Translation, this does not bode well for the Rattlers to go up against an FBS team that is supposedly powerful in Ohio State.

The Buckeyes need to get their house in order so they can go into Big Ten play without any doubts. Again, that doesn’t bode well for the Rattlers.

This is a name-the-score type game. I also refer to this kind of game as a Five Dollar Game. I know the face value is $79. But walk down to Woody Hayes Drive at 11:30 Saturday morning and you will be able to get a ticket for $5 – and that’s if people just don’t hand them to you for free.

I always lecture season ticket holders who pooh-pooh this kind of game that they should give the gift of Ohio State football to somebody they know who has never been. Let them fight the traffic and go down and enjoy the pomp and pageantry while they can stay home, watch it in HD and do some early fall cleaning or something else.

People are asking why Ohio State is even playing this school. And that is a valid question. Athletic director Gene Smith admitted that he had hoped that FAMU's famed Marching 100 (and its drumline) would be able to attend this game. But the band is on probation after a hazing incident and will not travel. (Click here for more details on OSU’s nonconference scheduling.)

As for this game, I’ve got it Ohio State 66-10

* For The Record: I am 3-0 straight-up and 2-1 against-the-spread on my Ohio State picks this year. (Few books have a line on games with FCS teams. However, Covers.com has OSU as a 50-point favorite.)

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